Middle East

Syria conflict: Raqqa air strikes 'kill 32 IS militants'

French fighter jet is seen on the runway at an undisclosed location (17 November 2015) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption French fighter jets are among coalition planes targeting IS in Syria

Air strikes on the Syrian city of Raqqa have killed at least 32 Islamic State (IS) militants and wounded 40 more, an activist group says.

The strikes on Sunday were believed to have been carried out by the US-led coalition, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

However, other activists suggested Russian jets had bombed the city and that civilians had been killed.

Raqqa is IS's de facto Syrian headquarters.

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Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the UK-based observatory which has a network of informants on the ground, said about 15 air strikes had hit IS bases in the north, east and south-east of the city.

He said the casualty figures had come from just one hospital and the final death toll could be higher.

Other activist groups - Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently and the Sham News Network - also reported the air strikes but suggested Russian planes had been in action and that civilians had died.

The US-led coalition has been targeting IS in Syria since September 2014.

The UK joined the coalition bombing IS in Syria earlier this month following a vote in parliament. It was already targeting the group in Iraq.

France has also stepped up its attacks in Syria since deadly attacks in Paris in November claimed by the group.

On Friday, German lawmakers backed plans to back military action against the group in Syria.

Russia is also carrying out air strikes in Syria, although critics say it is mainly targeting rebel groups opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.